Logan’s Swan Song

logans-swan-song

Seventeen years ago, the X-Men burst onto our screens, starting a whole near era in superhero film, one that admittedly has it’s problems thanks to timeline changes, but still a very enjoyable one. Two of the lead roles, were Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, and Professer Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart, who have now become iconic in these roles. Logan says goodbye to both, paying tribute to them, as well as giving them one last adventure. An adventure that’s unlike any other X-Men film before it.

Usually, the X-Men films are reasonably funny and lighthearted. But Logan is anything but lighthearted. It would fit more with the Marvel Netflix series’ than the rest of the X-Men canon. The story is dark, and gritty, not holding back on the character’s hardships, or how badly life had hit them.

Professor X is deteriorating mentally, barely able to control his powers, Logan is looking after him, working as a chauffeur to raise enough money to look after them both. There is no-one else that can help, the X-Men are gone, the mansion left unmentioned, mutants are dying out. The world thinks the professor is dead, a terrible accident killing him a year ago. And, possibly most importantly, Logan is also dying. His healing powers are failing him, poisoned by the Adamantium wrapped around his bones. Logan’s body is littered in scars, his wounds don’t heal as fast, he’s drinking to cope.

To say the least, things are bleak. Things get only bleaker when a nurse calls for Logan’s help, to take her and her daughter to Eden, a safe haven for mutant kind. A company is after them, and want to kill the girl, named Laura. Logan and Xavier get dragged into the fray when they discover that Laura is not human – she’s a mutant, one with some very familiar powers indeed.

What follows is still bleak, but brilliant. Despite this being a superhero film, it does not follow the usual tropes. This is more a story about a man learning how to care again, facing the worst adversity he has ever faced, despite the costs to himself. The audience is swept up completely in Logan’s struggle, routing for him more than ever before.

Logan is, in essence, one of the best X-Men films ever made. It’s beautifully shot, beautifully written, and beautifully acted. A bittersweet experience, as you never want this to end, but knowing it has to. Not only will the film end, but these characters are going to be gone forever at the end too.

Yes there were things left unexplained, and there were no appearances from any other famous X-Men, they weren’t even mentioned by name. But if things had been fully explained, if others were mentioned, it would have detracted from what this film is – Logan’s swan song.

While I did not want to see Logan ever go, the same with Professor X, it would do a disservice to this film to demand they bring these character’s back, through a timeline change, or by any other means. This was the perfect ending for the character, the last five minutes nearly bringing me to tears. By far, this was Logan’s best solo film. His ultimate goodbye.

I used to say that David Tennant’s regeneration was the day my childhood ended, but now that has been surpassed. I have spent most of my life watching and loving the X-Men, despite it’s faults and mistakes. Logan though may just now be my favourite, we saw Logan in his true form, in all of his glory. I loved every second.

Thank you, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, you and your characters will be dearly missed, and never, ever replaced.

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Star Trek Is Beyond Good

First of all, let me apologise for the header, my only excuse is punny titles on blog posts and that’s the best one I could think of in this head.

Now, onto the review.

Star Trek Beyond is the third installment in the Star Trek reboot series, and it does not disappoint. The story follows Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk and team crash landed on an unexplored world, separated and facing a dangerous new enemy – Krall.

I, for one, was slightly worried about how this film would turn out. Previous director JJ Abrams was only producing this film, the directors chair now filled by Justin Lin from the Fast And Furious franchise, and I was worried about how that would turn out. Would it still retain the previous film’s charm, the lens flares, anything that made the films feel distinctive? Trust me when I saw that the film feels different, but it’s not too bad a difference. It still feels like Star Trek, the characters are the same, the story line is still good, and there’s definitely enough Trek in there to satisfy fans.

One thing that is rather different from the previous films, is that there is a lot of humour in this one. This would be because Simon Pegg has co-written the film, and has added his sense of humour. But it’s not out of place, it actually works quite well. Most lines go to either Pegg’s character Scottie or Karl Urban’s Bones, though Kirk and Spock also get a few lines in too.

Another difference is that Chekov plays a a larger part than usual in this film. Chekov is usually a slightly more background character, but in this one he’s more at the forefront of the action, having a lot of screen time with Kirk. It’s a lovely thing to see, though still slightly sad, due to the recent passing of Anton Yelchin. His bigger role, and his dedication at the end, really made the film feel like it truly was ‘for Anton.’

The tribute to Leonard Nimoy is also a beautiful touch to the film. I won’t spoil what is done in tribute to him, but I will say that it will make classic Trek fans cry. My best friend and I, who have only ever watched these new films, welled up at his tribute. It was written in brilliantly, and while plays a key role in two scenes, is not completely ‘in your face’ or too over the top. It’s just right, stated well, and straight forward, sort of like Spock in that respect.

There is only two things that bugged me about this film. One was that the camera work during fight scenes was a bit too shaky to see what was going on, which spoiled them slightly for me. And the second was that I felt like Krall’s reasonings for his actions, along with his weapon, could have been explained just a bit more. I was left guessing for most of the film as to why he was so against Star Fleet, and never really understood what his weapon did, or why he needed the artifact to make it work.

But all in all, Star Trek Beyond is a great bit of film. It’s funny, witty, with a good plot line. The cast is great, the fight scenes are good, and it was great to see the affect of five years in space on the crew. They seemed stronger and closer together than in the first two. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Farewell Peggy Carter

Today is a sad day indeed, for today we have received the news that Marvel’s Agent Carter has been cancelled by abc in a frankly terrible decision. Peggy is sadly, no more in the MCU, apart from possible movie cameos from Hayley Atwell, and quite frankly, I am not pleased by this in the slightest.
Agent Carter is, for me at least, a big show. I love it dearly. I fell in love with Peggy during Captain America: The First Avenger, and have continued to love her since. I loved her spirit, her keen sense of adventure, and her devotion to saving people, no matter what she was told. Peggy didn’t give up in times of hardship, and never let someone tell her what to do. If she wanted to do it, she did it, without caring for the consequences of her career. As long as the world and the people in it were safe, Peggy did not worry about the repercussions of her actions. She did what had to be done, time and time again.
So when it was announced that she had her own tv show, exploring her life post Steve Rogers, I was ecstatic, and could not wait to see what she would get up to at the SSR. To say the least, I was not disappointed in the result. Agent Carter was a tv show with strong morals, great adventures, and one hell of a dynamic leading lady. Every week Peggy kicked ass, saved New York or LA, all the while coming up with great sass and looking great. It was funny, and silly in places, like all the best Marvel films, but it was also a great drama. I love every single second of it.
But what was even more epic was the message this show had. It carried over the message that Peggy has always had – that women are just as good as men. That even in the most sexist of times and work places, a woman can not only succeed, but she can do it without sleeping with anybody to her where she wants, without the help of a man, and without having to sacrifice her femininity. The show broke the mould in every way it could. It showed a regular human woman could save the world without a man doing it for her, that female friendship is so important, that women do not have to constantly be at war with each other, and so many other things.
Peggy Carter, to say the least, was a feminist hero, sort of like a non-powered version of Buffy set in the 40s. She gave so many important messages, the most important being ‘know your value, anybody else’s opinion doesn’t matter.’
Peggy broke the usual rules of tv, she was smart, beautiful, feminine, and saved the world. She didn’t have special powers, wasn’t an expert at combat, and didn’t let anybody stand in her way. To say the least I will miss her, and of course the ever wonderful Mr Jarvis, and her adventures. I can only hope that something like Netflix will pick up the series, and that she isn’t left to die like this.
Peggy will be sorely missed in this household, and many more across the world.
Farewell Agent Carter.